February 1990

Respiratory Distress Secondary to Subacute Thyroiditis

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism Children's Hospital of New Jersey 15 S Ninth St Newark, NJ 07107

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(2):145-146. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150260023016

Sir.—Thyroid disease is an uncommonly reported cause of acute respiratory distress in childhood. Subacute thyroiditis (SAT) occurs infrequently in children. To our knowledge, it has not been previously implicated as a cause of respiratory insufficiency. We describe a child in whom thyroid enlargement during an episode of SAT resulted in respiratory compromise.

Patient Report.—A 5-year-3-month-old girl was admitted to Children's Hospital of New Jersey, Newark, because of progressive dysphagia, hoarseness, and a history of stridor. Four days prior to admission she had a sore throat, an earache, and a temperature of 38.8°C; she was examined and was found to have pharyngitis. A throat culture was obtained, and she was started on treatment with oral penicillin V (Pen VK). The day prior to admission, her mother noted diffuse swelling of the anterior aspect of the neck associated with tenderness, hoarseness, stridor, and difficulty in swallowing. There was no history

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